by SAM SWAIM
inally they met, in the middle of a bog of blood pretending to be a floor.
"Shit. It’s been such a long time," said Daniel. Kristina put her head sideways into the crook of his shoulder, the way lovers often do. He stood tall enough for the side of her face to rest in the soft muscly bit between his chest and front deltoid. That space was meant for the heads of beautiful women, not for brachiating or other biomechanical needs.
"I know." No music played as they danced slowly and clumsily through the putrid liquid. They moved intimately, not caring for the gory sea that lay over the hall. For years he imagined hearing her voice again. Reality imagined her voice for him.
"Why?" She asked.
"I don’t know. It’s like, one second I just woke up and I was like, shit. It’s all different. But this time in a good way. I guess I just kind of woke up."
A decade separated them until that moment, and in an arbitrary slice of time their dance erased everything. They regained that decade in their morbid embrace, ankle deep in the contents of evisceration.
The strobe light pulsed on in its seizure-inducing cadence. Only the strobe illuminated the room, but it fit the moment. Each strobe offered a chance to take a mental picture. It was as though all the flashes from all the pictures they would have taken if they had been together were taken in those few minutes.
She sighed as they danced, the kind that communicated more than a clumsy speech could.
"What were we doing all this time?"
"Fucking nothing," he replied.
"This is good."
The silent music played on in their minds’ ears. An amplifier hanging from its one remaining suspension wire buzzed. It helped to drown the mutually shared cacophony of could haves and should haves in their heads. Those thoughts turned in to ambience in a strange song, with the buzzing as the bass, and their liquid footsteps as percussion. Their eyes met, and all the enmeshment they ran away from for the last ten years returned. He rested his forehead on hers.
"I don’t really want to go," said Kristina.
"I think we have to."
"Well yeah. Look at what we did to this place. People are going to catch on to this quick. I’m surprised nobody has yet."
"I didn’t mean for the whole weekend or anything. I don’t know. I just want to stay like this for a long time."
"We should. We should stay together and do nothing with each other forever and ever. And we will be. Soon. We just gotta get out of here right now."
They held on to one another’s hand as they sloshed through the thickening, slowly drying sludge of liquefied and amputated human products. She stepped on a skull, which cracked and spilled its contents into the ocean. Heads normally put up more of a fight, but something about what they did desiccated, drained, and weakened everything.
When they left the hall they saw why nobody had yet come to disturb them. They were entirely too successful in their foul castings. All around them houses burned, corpses rotted as they ran through the street with entrails dripping from their mouths, traffic sat in a mess of twisted metal and shattered glass. The sky was tinted orange with fires burning all around the city. They had swallowed the city with their lust.
Sam Swaim is a writer who lives and works in southern Alberta, Canada. He has a Bsc. in Psychology from the University of Lethbridge. He works in the disabilities field.
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